Saturday was both an exciting & somber day in the lives of the Mississippi State faithful. Exciting because we heard the glorious tones of “wrap this one in maroon & white”, as MSU defeated Tennessee in Knoxville. Somber because we knew we’d never hear it again. Saturday was the official retirement of MSU’s storied broadcaster, Jack Cristil. He was the voice of MSU athletics for 58 years. Not just my lifetime, but for the entire lifetime of my father have Bulldog fans have lived MSU through the voice of Jack.
Like so many, I have vivid childhood memories of sitting in the den listening to Jack describe action for me. We weren’t able to attend many games in person, and until a decade ago MSU sports were rarely televised. So, Jack was our story-teller, our weaver of words. He pulled us in and described scenes so dramatic and thorough it was like we were in the stands. On the rare occasion that State was playing on the telly, we still turned down the dreadful tv announcers and depended on Jack and company to describe what we could very well see for ourselves.
As I pondered the history of Mr. Cristil and how he impacted so many lives, I realized his story is so much deeper than sports. He wasn’t called to be a missionary or lead a Fortune 500 company. He wasn’t a political dignitary or lawmaker. He was simply an audio actor, giving listeners play-by-plays of an athletic event. Doesn’t sound so important, right? But, he used his talent to the best of his ability.
God gives each of us talents and gifts. Some are obvious and others buried, but they are there for each of us. How are you using your gifts? Do you hoard them in your closet and envy the bigger gifts of others? Maybe you stick your gift out, wave it around a little, and then put it away when no one notices (sheepishly raising my hand here). Faithful friends, we are the hands and feet of God. If not us, then who will leak goodness into this dark world? Even the smallest of talents can be used for the glory of God.
Maybe you are only a mother, a father, a student, a teacher, a paper pusher, a factory worker. Give it your best in the name of our Savior. Bring your talents with you everywhere you go. Shine ‘em up all pretty and give ‘em away. God’s gifts cannot be depleted by sharing. Remember the fishes & loaves? Yeah, that’s your talents. Except they don’t stink or give you gas.
And on the days when the job is too hard and others' efforts too small, at least use your talent to make life fun for those around you.